man getting dental treatment in dentist chair

How Is Gum Disease Treated?

Gum disease is a severe mouth infection that causes tender, swollen gums that bleed easily. It leads to infections in the supporting tooth structures, and eventually results in tooth loss. In fact, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. 

Without treatment, gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) progresses quickly, and its later stages are irreversible. Gum disease must be treated as early as possible to preserve your oral health and prevent the infection from spreading. 

Prompt treatment can reverse gum disease in its early stages, or keep it from progressing if it has already advanced. Different treatment options are available, depending on how far the infection has spread. 

Five Treatment Options for Gum Disease

1: Professional Dental Cleanings

The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis, which can often be reversed with a professional dental cleaning. Professional cleanings are necessary to remove all of the plaque and tartar irritating the gums, halting the progression of infection. However, advanced gum disease cannot be reversed, and will need additional care beyond teeth cleanings to restore your oral health. No matter the stage of gum disease, it’s crucial that you keep up with your regular dental cleaning appointments to prevent the infection from returning. 

2: Scaling and Root Planing

Also known as a “deep cleaning,” scaling and root planing are often recommended for more advanced cases. This non-surgical procedure involves removing plaque and tartar from beneath the gum line and smoothing rough spots on the tooth roots. Local anesthesia is required to numb the area, so you won’t feel any pain during the procedure. Scaling and root planing help prevent bacteria from easily forming below the gums again. 

3: Antibiotics

In some cases, antibiotics may be prescribed to control the bacterial infection. These can be in the form of oral antibiotics or topical gels. Depending on the severity of the infection, antibiotics may be given as a standalone treatment or alongside other procedures. Antibiotics help reduce inflammation and eliminate harmful bacteria, promoting faster healing. 

4: Pocket Reduction Surgery

Also known as flap surgery, pocket reduction surgery is often needed to treat deep periodontal pockets. Advanced periodontal disease causes gum recession. When the gums pull away from the teeth, pockets form between the teeth and gums that can easily collect bacteria. This surgical procedure involves lifting the gum tissue, removing bacteria, and securing the gums back in place. Flap surgery helps reduce pocket depth, making it easier to prevent infections and maintain good gum health. 

5: Bone or Gum Grafting

When gum disease reaches its more advanced stages, the infection starts to weaken the supporting tooth structures. As the gums recede, the jawbone also becomes weaker. At this stage, bone grafting or gum grafting may be necessary to prevent tooth loss. Grafting procedures use healthy tissues from another part of the mouth (or synthetic materials) and involves placing them in areas where support is needed. This procedure helps restore lost gum or bone tissue and improves the stability of the teeth, reducing the risk of tooth loss. 

Save Your Teeth! Don’t Delay Getting Treatment for Gum Disease 

If you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease or if your gums are anything other than pink and firm, you must take action right away. Early intervention is crucial in preventing tooth loss and other complications from gum disease. At Copper Creek Dental in South Jordan, we’ll design the most effective treatment plan for your specific situation. Give us a call at 801-280-1911 today to make an appointment.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (2/6/2024). Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels

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